Quote Originally Posted by pukalo View Post
Found this on Flickr - Northern Lights on Slide Film. Perhaps e-mailing him, he can tell you what he used.
Beware the use of Portra 400 for this subject matter, being a portrait film, and also designed to work under mixed lighting (think, neutralizes "color casts"), you may very well end up with washed out, muted, "auto white balanced away" colors.

Most slide films dont have these issues (hence, terrible under indoor lighting or mixed lighting), which is a strength in your case. Stick to ektar and 400X. Triple up on the 400x, not thye Portra. As this shot proves, the Northern Lights can be captured very well with slide film. And given it is from 2001, its proibably either E200 pushed (800 max, which 400X does easily), or Provia 400F.
1 roll 400X at 400
1 roll at 800
1 roll at 1600
Your set.


Many thanks! That is sound advice. I got a 5 roll pack of Provia 400X.....that should be enough for the 3 experiments you mentioned above, although I am not too keen on a 2 stop push. We will see......I will have to make a last min judgement call based on the intensity of the lights up in the Arctic.

Beyond that, if time permits (I also have my D300 with the Tokina 11-16 which will take precedence above the film for obvious reasons...and I have only 1 tripod) I will experiment with the portra.

You are right about the aurora shots in the Flickr stream. They are clearly long exposures on slow slide film.........I made the mistake of shooting at low ISO last year and my images were pretty much like those......light smear. They look lovely, but the aurora looks absolutely stunning when keeping exposures below 30 secs. That should be possible with ISO800 and f2.8.

Anyone have recommendations for sending in the film for development/push? I used E-Six in Atlanta for my Portra experiments. I don't want to unnecessarily blame them (it is very likely that I am at fault for the poor results), but I'd rather go with a lab people have had sufficient experience with and have consistently got good results.

I have heard good things about Richard's Photolab over in California.